Strategic Breakout as a Soviet Policy Option.
An assessment of the assumption that the Soviet Union is not likely to violate the SALT agreements because any incentive to do so would be overriden by the military and political costs of breaching the agreements and the far greater benefits of compliance. This report suggests that there are indeed Soviet incentives for covert and overt buildup within or without treaty constraints. This analysis of strategic breakout (defined here a large-scale violation of the SALT treaty) is concerned with objectives and motivations for such an action, and the conditions fostering a change in direction. An important factor is an understanding of Soviet military decisionmaking, which is discussed in some detail. It is noted that even without a formal treaty, breakout may be defined as a form of military buildup "breaking away" from an informal strategic accommodation with the United States. 56 pp. Ref.